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RMFU demands economic relief for farmers and ranchers

Denver, Colo. — Following their meeting last week, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s (RMFU) board of directors urged emergency action by Congress to deal with the economic hardships being created by the excessive costs of energy for farmers and ranchers across the United States.

“Many farmers will not be able to cash flow operations in 2006 due to the cost of fuel, fertilizer and other energy costs,” said John Stencel, RMFU president. “Obscene energy costs and increasing interest rates will drive many family farmers and ranchers off the land, devastating rural communities.”

RMFU’s board sent letters to all members of Congress from Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming requesting their leadership in implementing an Energy Fuel Rebate (EFR) program to assist producers during these stressful times. RMFU is urging Congress to establish the energy rebate using a base period of energy costs from July 2004 through June 2005. The proposed EFR would be funded by the establishment of a windfall profit tax, retroactive to 2005 earnings of oil and gas company profits. “Oil and gas companies are making excessive profits on the backs of hardworking Americans,” said Jan Kochis, RMFU board chairman. “Farmers and ranchers will not be able to survive the upcoming year given natural disasters, low commodity prices and high fuel costs. It is time for Congress to act.”